We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Culture shock and other important stuff

1 post
Save Topic
Culture shock and other important stuff

I have been offered a good job but would have to relocate to Bahrain, what should and American know and expect related to the culture and dealing with people in business and the community? Anything you can tell me would be helpful as i make this decision. I have looked up the standard history and cultural climate online but want to hear from those who have experienced it first hand. Thank you

Destination Expert
for Dubai, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia
Level Contributor
2,687 posts
12 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Culture shock and other important stuff

There are lots of American and European expats in Bahrain and I am sure you will fit in very well and enjoy the experience.

As far as the culture and etiquette is concerned, lean on the side of respect and not be over-bearing. Most Bahrainis are quite educated and enlightened.

Abu Dhabi, United...
Level Contributor
4,012 posts
210 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Culture shock and other important stuff

Bahrain is a tiny country and one of the most liberal of Middle Eastern countries. The Bahraini people are friendly. There's also a large community of western expats. I would suggest to anyone thinking about working in the region to visit before deciding to relocate here.

Level Contributor
7 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Culture shock and other important stuff

My family and I miss living in Bahrain! The life in Bahrain is very nice and easy once you get settled. Getting settled is another story! From phone service to rental agreements, it can be frustrating, but no different than any other country. The good thing is most everyone speaks English and they are, for the most part, helpful. Most likely you will have a sponsor from your job and they should be able to steer you in the right directions. Everything is normally viewed as a 'favor' so it is best to know someone in advance to minimize the stress factor.

The living conditions are fantastic! You can show up with one suitcase of clothes and move right into a fully furnished apartment in Juffair or you can search around and get your own huge villa across the bridge(some are furnished too) with your own pool or you can bring your own furniture. Prices have skyrocketed lately, but good deals are still to be found, and again, your work colleagues should be able to assist you in finding a great place to live. On one hand you can live like a king and queen in a beautiful villa; on the other hand, there may not be paved roads in your neighborhood with sandy dust everywhere.

Since the island is small it is easy to travel around (except for the traffic- for such a small island, the traffic sucks because there seems to be no rhyme or reason for construction, but it is getting better). There are state of the art shopping malls with movie theaters (films are censored somewhat) and large grocery stores with a variety of international foods. If you are working on the US military installation, there are shopping amenities there as well. There are upscale restaurants with international and local cuisine, which is definitely a treat. Surprisingly, there is a stronger US food restaurant influence (Applebees, Friday's, etc..) than in Europe so you will have a nice variety.

There are nice hospitals as well-the best being in Awali. Bahrain Specialist in Juffair can be used, but second opinions are always recommended. Although nice, if you have any pre-existing medical conditions you may want to ask about treatment first because like I said, they are nice, but not the greatest.

The only negatives we experienced is the heat/humidity and some of our lady friends had some male issues, but they dealt with them appropriately and no other problems ensued. Women do not have to wear the abaya or hijab, but moderate dress is expected-if you dress provocatively, the male residents will let you know it in more ways than one. For the most part, everyone is very friendly, courteous, and respectful. Ask your colleagues about it for more details.

Good luck and enjoy the culture! If you are open minded I would definitely take the job!

Level Contributor
39 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Culture shock and other important stuff

1st of all, find a good location of accommodation, because recently the traffic diversions are pain in the ###, yes it is a very small country, so it gets really stuck at rush hours.

manage to get a car as soon as you arrive, coz Taxies here will dry out you pockets.

the weather here is soooooo humid in summer, so get be prepaerd to sweat ALOT!:)

try to be more opend minded here and mix with native people arround, because I feel sorry for many forigners who stay here for a very long time and all they see is shopping malls and night clubs, many of them didnt even try out traditional foods !!:s

one thing i can guarantee, you will love the food over here ;) prepare to gain some KG's (LB's) :D

5. Re: Culture shock and other important stuff

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 04 October 2009, 22:19